Water, power lack intensifies

Water, power lack intensifies

Water users in Metro Manila and nearby provinces and power consumers across Luzon suffered a double whammy yesterday with rotational service interruptions as the water level at the Angat Dam continued to dwindle.

At the same time, a total of 1,240 megawatts of power-generating capacity remained out of commission, with some having gone under unplanned outage and others running at derated levels.

As of Wednesday morning, Angat’s stock was pegged at 161.3 meters above sea level, just 1.3 meters above its critical low level.

Maynilad Water Services Inc. yesterday started implementing rotational supply interruptions throughout it concession area, lasting seven to 14 hours per the schedule.

This was the effect of reduced allocation of raw water from Angat Dam, which the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said was needed to prepare the dam for operations below the critical low level of 160 masl.

“We encourage our affected customers to store enough water when supply is available. Upon resumption of water service, please let the water flow out for a few seconds until the supply clears,” Maynilad said in a statement.

“We appeal to our customers for their continued patience and understanding as we try to manage the effects of the reduced allocation on our operations,” the company added.

Also, Manila Water Co. Inc. revised its own rotational service interruption scheme, which has been running since March.

“This [reduction in allocation] will affect water supply going to our treatment plants and consequently, our ability to refill our reservoirs,” Manila Water said.

“We are therefore constrained to implement a new scheme of rotational water service interruptions for the entire East Zone for about eight to 12 hours during night time,” the company said.

Also yesterday, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan lashed out at the concessionaires, the NWRB and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System for their late notices.

As for the power situation, the Luzon grid was placed under Red Alert—when the expected peak demand for electricity was likely to exceed available generating capacity—for the 12th day since the problem in Luzon started in March.

Yesterday’s Red Alert status started at 9 a.m. and was lifted at 3:05 p.m., although this was planned to last until 4 p.m.

During this six-hour period, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines estimated that demand in Luzon would peak at 11,134 MW while available capacity was only 10,962 MW.

Manila Electric Co. said that as of 4 p.m. yesterday, there had not been any need to implement rotational brownouts in its service areas.

According to the Department of Energy, four power plants located in Bataan and Batangas with a total capacity of 765 MW were still under forced or unplanned outage.

Six power plants were also running at lower-than-usual capacity, most of them hydropower plants that have problems with low water levels.